MALACCA: The remains of the 32 Australian citizens who were interred at the Commonwealth War Graves (CWG) in the Terendak Camp have been sent home to their families in Australia.
This was the first and largest ever repatriation process which was participated by more than 400 military officers here.
The occasion was steeped in solemnity as 32 hearses left the camp to make their way to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang.
Present to witness the send-off were Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, Third Malaysian Infantry Division Major General Hasagaya Abdullah, Training and Doctrine Commander Major General Datuk Tengku Ahmad Noor Tuan Chik, and Australia Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia Dr Angela Macdonald.
Earlier, the 'Last Post' was played during the lowering of the Australian flag to mark the farewell of the deceased Australians.
Twenty-one of the remains were Australian soldiers who were killed in the Vietnam War, while another three were soldiers who were killed during the communist insurgency in Malaya.
The remaining eight are the remains of wives (two) and children (six) of Australian military personnel.
Another three remains of Australian soldiers including Provisional Major Peter John Badcoe, who was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for heroism on three occasions before being killed in Vietnam in 1967, would be maintained at the CWG as requested by family members.
All the remains are expected to be flown to Australia on May 31.